Kaply Has Left The Building

Those of you that have been reading for a while have heard many tales of my friend Kaply. We first met because of a blogger meet up Dave2 set up. That was probably five or six years ago, not long after I had moved to Seattle. Kaply was one of my first Seattle friends and today she is moving to California.

For those of you who don’t know Kap, she’s the kind of person you want on your side because she will always tell it to you straight, stick up for you, and hide the bodies if needed. Being friends with Kaply has taught me about not caring so much about what everyone’s opinion is of me. She’s taught me to not be so uptight and to try to enjoy the moment RIGHT NOW because you never know how much time you’ve got. She’s taught me about keeping your sense of humor when everything seems hopeless because it’s never hopeless. She told me “feelings aren’t facts” and that mantra has saved me many times.

Kaply and I are very different but we laugh at the differences in that sisterly kind of way. For example, Kaply is always early for things because back when she was just starting recovery in AA she would show up late all the time to everything. I believe it was her sponsor who, after Kap was late again to meet her, gave her the what for about it and shut the door in her face. She claims she’s never been late again. I also do not like being late, so much so that whenever I’d meet Kaply anywhere and she’d already be there I would FEEL like I was late and this would drive me bonkers. One time we were meeting for dinner and I purposely arrived early. I got a table and texted her that I was there. She texted back that she was there too. She was across the restaurant from me laughing at my fuming because once again she’d arrived first. I can still hear her cackling over it.

Yesterday Mr. Darcy and I went over to help her load her truck which she and her aging cat will be driving down to California in. In true Kaply fashion, it was a comedy of errors. Yesterday was Seattle’s Pride Parade and Kaply lives at the epicenter. Add to that fact that 95% of Kaply’s Seattle pals are gay which means they were all busy. The rental truck place was literally located at the end of the parade route which means we drove around for 45 minutes unable to reach it and when Kaply called to ask how to get there given the situation, they told her that they were closing at noon (her pick up time) and that they had no reservation for her. WHAT?! After a couple of hours of many frustrating phone calls, she got a truck for today with a discount for their error. (Budget Truck Rental is on par with Comcast for their shitty customer service.) The truck is located 30 minutes away so a friend of hers is taking her there and other friends have been called into assist with moving boxes and couches and a bed so that she can finally get on the road. She’s promised to text us that she’s “not dead” because we’re all concerned about her survival. The largest vehicle she’s driven in years is a smart car. People on I5, beware of a lady and her cat in a Budget truck!

I love you, Kap, and will miss the hell out of you.

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Sharing the Love

I’ve written back to each of you from your sweet comments (I hope!) on my anniversary post but I just want to say a big THANK YOU publicly. I was so touched to reach each entry. Some of you have been around a long time! And based on the comments I should give thank you gifts to Hilly, Dave2, Whoorl, and Neilochka for sending a good number of you my way. I love that I have met each of them in person!

Maybe I don’t say it enough but: I’m glad you’re here. And you look really hawt today.

I am happy to announce the winner of my 6th blogging anniversary give-away, Karen Walrond’s book, “The Beauty of Different” is:

Aimee of The Mix Tape

Here’s the funny thing- Aimee and I are in a book club together. How fitting that she should win a book!

Do you read her? You should! She recently had an adorable baby, opened an etsy business with her husband, has excellent taste in music, is a most awesome therapist. (She’s not MY therapist because that would be an ethical conflict but I can just tell she’s great at it.)

Thanks for playing along, everyone. If you get the chance, pick up Chookooloonks book. It’s a beautiful testament to our own unique beauty.

*******

I’ve got a few posts brewing for the coming week but I thought now is a good time as any to ask you:

Is there anything you want me to write about?

Are there loose ends of a particular tale you want me to tie up?

 

 

 

Six

“Perhaps that is the secret- that every time we dare to voice what beats within, we invite some other cell of heart to find what lives between us and sing.” -Mark Nepo

Today is the anniversary of my first blog post six years ago.

CONFETTI!

Man, six years is a long time. In blogging years, I’m pretty sure that makes me like Yoda.

From time to time I’ve thought about giving up blogging but never in earnest. I’m too invested. I get too much out of it. Having a place to express myself, share my thoughts, and find support are invaluable. Readers have come and gone over the years – there was a time when my blog posts were getting upwards of 90 comments per post. I’m still wondering how THAT happened. So many of you but have turned into dear friends. I’m blessed to have found such a supportive and fun community on line. Why on earth would I ever walk away from that?

I’m still in awe that many of my closest friends are people I met through blogging. We were once two people with blogs who commented on each other’s sites and now we are friends I get noodles with, or fluff my chi with, or visit in Portland, or swap music with, or start a book club with, or exchange countless emails with. Many I have known for so long, I have forgotten how we found each other. So many that have touched my heart that I can’t link them all. And even more who have drifted off, leaving me wondering about how they are. Because truly, I count you as a friend and I miss you when you go.

It’s like Mark Nepo says in the quote above- that when we share, we allow for connection. If anyone asked me why I keep blogging I would say, without pause, that connection is why. I share my stories, my thoughts, my heart and you comment, or email and we get to connect from across distances, cultures, backgrounds. I am so grateful for that and for you. For this community. Thank you for being here!

In celebration, I will be selecting a comment at random to receive “The Beauty of Different” by Karen Walrond (AKA Chookooloonks). It’s an amazing book that helps us celebrate our own unique beauty and that special something each of us bring to the world.

So on this day of anniversary, tell me something: How did you find Sizzle Says and what keeps you coming back?

Here’s to tomorrow and all the days that follow.

The Poll Has Spoken

It was a dead heat between The Marry Godmother and Ready, Set, Wed. I’d check the poll and from hour to hour they would switch places. Each entry got a significant number of votes cast for it- thank you for voting! My readership has spoken and by a narrow margin of 3 points (!) The Marry Godmother has won.

This clever name was suggest by Em of 35 Jupiter Drive. You win a special prize from me!

But since it was SUCH a close race, I’m going to award the top two names with prizes. A valiant effort by Ready, Set, Wed means Jen of Papers & Packages also gets a little something special. Congrats, Jen!

I loved every suggestion and trust me when I tell you, I’ve been agonizing over this decision. I’ve heard pros and cons for each name. I’ve thought about the look and feel that would go along with each name, how I want to present myself to my potential clients, the longevity of the name. Is this what parents go through naming their kid? I am, essentially, birthing a business. Where’s my epidural?

I’m leaning towards: Emerald City Engagements* because it can encompass both weddings and other types of events which, as many of you pointed out (so smartly!), I might want that kind of flexibility if I broaden my scope later on down the line. PLUS I think I can actually incorporate both The Marry Godmother and Ready, Set, Wed within the context of Emerald City Engagements. For the wedding portion of my business I could refer to myself as The Marry Godmother. I can also use the term “ready, set, wed” within the description of what I offer. I’m still thinking it all out of course but I’m excited to move forward with more concrete planning- like building a website, getting graphics, business cards and starting my outreach to potential clients.

I have already changed my work schedule at my job, cutting my hours back from 40 to 35 to allow me to focus more on this venture (plus go to more yoga because I am addicted). I can’t thank you all enough for supporting my crazy little ideas. You guys are the best cheerleaders a girl could ever dream of. Thank you!

More on this as things solidify.

*Oh and Egan? Since you suggested Emerald City Engagements you get a prize too. Way to go, you.

Tattoos and Mustaches and Bloggers, Oh My!

My original impetus for crossing the border was to attend the annual blogger meet up, TequilaCon. The last time I had  been to one was back in 2007 when it was held in Portland at the Kennedy School. It was, in a word, debaucherous, and a hell of a lot of fun.  It is where I first met the likes of Dave2 of Blogography, Neilochka from Citizen of the Month, Vahid of IronFist, among many, many awesome others and where, yes, I first licked Long Story Longer. It was where many budding on line friendships came to life.

What? Don’t most of your friendships start on line and involve drinking and licking?

Hmmm.

So this year when I heard it was being held in Vancouver, I knew I had to go. And with Mr. Darcy and I basically being inseparable (What can I say? He’s a good kisser. And funny.), I invited him along. Knowing already that he could hold his own among a group of rowdy bloggers, he bravely said yes. And off we went.

He also models free schwag like a pro.

Mr. Darcy sportin' the TC 2010 commemorative cap.

After we’d spent the greater part of the day in search of a hat, one was handed to us at TC. Is that what you’d call irony? It came in handy the following day when it insisted on raining again.

The event was held at Steamworks Brewing Company which has nice vistas and good brew.

Reminds me a lot of Seattle's port.

Little known fact: Drinking tequila is not required at TequilaCon. But wearing a fake tattoo is.

IronFist is spongeworthy. I MEAN, he is the Sponge Master. (Ahem!)

Mr. Darcy rockin' the neck tat. Kids, do not try this at home. Real neck tattoos are not recommended.

Oh Sarah Joy poses with bad ass One N Jen & her Ed Hardy tattoo.

The tats were all from Ed Hardy which made me sing, “Thought it was a perfect party but now it’s just a lot of Ed Hardy…” Thank you Garfunkel & Oates. Though, thankfully, this party did NOT go to the douche.

California REPRESENT!

Thanks to Hillary there were mustaches galore which gave us ample opportunity for even more photo opps.

Dustin, resurrected from blogger ashes, sports a 'stache.

Oh Sarah Joy is so demure in her mustache.

If you can’t tell by the photo-documentation, it was a grand gathering of really cool bloggers. My thanks go out to the TequilaCon planning committee who work their butts off, fueled only by their love a blogger meet up and copious amounts of booze, to pull off such a tremendous feat. Thanks guys! And if I didn’t mention it, you make hockey jerseys look very stylish.

You should come next year. Yes! YOU!

For more photos, check out our Flickr pool.

Recapsulation

PNW Blogtacular Hosts

The awesomeness that is EmCityChris and I decided to throw a blogger party for local peoples. We started out with grand ideas but time and busy schedules got the better of us and we ended up sending out an evite and bringing nametags. Let it be known that that is all it really takes to throw a party. When bloggers are involved, you don’t have to go overboard. Just say the magic word.

BOOZE.

A lot of awesome folks attended and it was great to see old friends and meet new ones. Check it:

Pocket-sized Sarah Who? & my BFF, the internet spectacle herself, Kaply

Hot Daddy Blogger Contingent

Party People Posing for a Picture

Portland REPRESENT!

My Ladies (why yes I take ownership of them cuz I lurve them)

Mr. Darcy braved a blogger meet up. In turn, I claimed him as mine. Classy, I know.

Dave & his love, The Kate cupcake.

If you missed the shindig, don’t fret PNWers, we’ll have another. Get on the guest list by emailing me.

Put Out Positivity, Please

**My friend Brandy needs your ear. It’s really important. Please read.**

My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He’s a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He’s the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He’s the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He’s a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He’s made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He’s listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He’s recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He’s the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I’m overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren’t sure what’s happening. He’ll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what’s going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as ‘brandy’s hot awesome dude’). If you don’t pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven’t seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I’m throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn’t a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It’s just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven’t already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

As Luck Would Have It

I was all set to go off on someone but then I had a change of heart. So now I will save the verbal assault for another day. Or! Maybe I will just let it lie. Because honestly? When you put out good vibes you get good vibes back. And I want to embrace goodness. I want to bear hug it.

What’s with my blowing-sunshine-up-your-ass Pollyanna attitude? Well, let me tell you. My good friend over at Marie’s Blog Cafe had a little contest and I entered. I always enter contests but rarely do I ever win. But this time? HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I WON A LAP TOP!

I do not think I can adequately express the magnitude of my excitement. I seriously check out lap top deals daily because I really really really have been coveting one. THIS IS SO SPECTACULAR! I had the shittiest night’s sleep- woke up 3am, fell back to sleep and dreamed my cats were both dead because they ate water balloons, woke up again to a text from Kaply who is currently stuck in Newark, then said fuck it to going back to sleep and spent the next hour snuggling with my cats (because they had died! but they were alive! hooray!) and texting. When I read Marie’s message I was like: Is this real? Am I awake? Does that really say my name?! Did I just win a motherfucking lap top?*

Merry Christmas to me!

I cannot thank Marie enough. THANK YOU MARIE YOU ADORABLE AND LOVELY FRIEND. If only we lived in the same Washington, I’d hug the shit out of you.

*Excuse the excessive profanity but it is the only way to convey my over-the-top joy. And also, I’m not really operating at optimum speed thanks to crap sleep. I see a nap in my future, oh yes, I do.